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Old 03-08-2019, 08:35 PM #31
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You can expect to be covered, but make sure you have the coverage.

Insurance is all about managing risk, and adjusting your policy against your tolerance for it. Just start by picking a good carrier, and making sure you have the appropriate coverage for your needs.

Start a conversation with a real insurance agent (not some web support person) and make sure you are covered. Reaching out to a licensed professional to review your existing policy, coverage, and limits. That will get you setup the right way.

Edit:
From my own personal experience… when price becomes the focus of the conversation, especially when dealing with second rate carriers, they often try and beat prices by reducing limits and coverage, just be an informed consumer when you deal with this stuff and don’t fall into the trap.

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Old 03-08-2019, 09:24 PM #32
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Most of my powerline driving is in an OHV area, federally owned BLM land.

Would it really be trespassing at that point, almost seems like it would be easement for the power company.

Not expecting to be insured if in a regular vehicle, but in a properly insured ATV/UTV, I don’t see this being a problem. It often times serves as a “road” for most people traveling the area.

Curious to hear your thoughts.
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So no if you're on BLM land you're fine. another state variance, my apologies. Here in New England BLM means something TOTALLY different. More to your point the power company owns the land that the lines are on and the land the trails to service those lines is upon. They also prosecute. I am friendly with certain cops in certain towns, they are tasked with stopping both ATV an automobile trespassers. if it's a designated OHRV trail on BLM land I imagine that would be like those we have here in the White Mountain National Forest, and you're fine.
Yeah, a bunch (most?) powerlines in the SW are designated roads or OHV trails. I did not know those tracks in the NE are owned by the power companies. There is so much BLM land around, it is a great fortune to live in the West if one is into the outdoors.

Also, the OHV areas around, say, Phoenix, are HUGE by the standards of what I see on maps of the Midwest or the East Coast. They are not just parks for people to fool around either. They are BIG chunks of BLM land/nature open to recreational use of all sorts. It would be interesting to see if any tracks within them are excluded from coverage. I actually doubt that because they are either designated street-legal vehicle routes of designated ATV/UTV routes. I am sure I would not be covered if I were crazy enough to take on an ATV trail. But I think the rest is probably covered as those are not merely "play areas" for toys like in eastern parks. I avoid the OHV areas anyway because of the crowds and the fact that all sorts of people do target practice all over the place. Thankfully, there is no need to go to an OHV area to drive real 4x4 tracks around here though some tracks in OHV areas make for good practice runs. The enormous majority of dirt roads and 4x4 tracks for street legal vehicles in AZ are outside of OHV areas.

It has never occurred to me that someone might ask their insurance to cover, say, a door damaged while negotiating an obstacle! But, yeah. I can see people do that. Totally.

As I said above, the one time everyone would try to get coverage, included myself, would be due to a rollover. The only solution to that is not to take unnecessary risks.

If someone wants to test the limits, an old beater or a Jeep rental from the right outfit is the way to go. By testing the limits, I do not mean the main routes of unique trails like Hells Revenge and Fins and Things or Broken Arrow where you go up and down slickrock fins. I mean seriously off-camber, awkward obstacles, like on Moab Rim, or the hardcore obstacles on Hells. I mean, why would anyone cover a street legal vehicle going up the Escalator? That's playing, fooling around, not getting anywhere. There is no reason for a regular street focused insurance to cover that, imo.
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Old 03-08-2019, 09:33 PM #33
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I avoid the OHV areas anyway because of the crowds and the fact that all sorts of people do target practice all over the place.
Dude, you live in ARIZONA... the whole state is target practice! ;-)
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Old 03-08-2019, 09:59 PM #34
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[QUOTE=MAST4R;3247696]Yeah, a bunch (most?) powerlines in the SW are designated roads or OHV trails. I did not know those tracks in the NE are owned by the power companies. There is so much BLM land around, it is a great fortune to live in the West if one is into the outdoors.

Yeah so in New England, ME,NH,VT,MA,CT and RI as well as New York the powerline trails are private property, and exceptionally well signed so there is no opportunity for "confusion" not sure if any of you folks watch "North Woods Law" on Animal Planet, it follows the Fish and Game Officers of this state that I call home, in I think two separate episodes in two separate seasons they cover the pursuit and capture of some people really enjoying themselves on powerline trails here in NH... Also, a very entertaining show as an aside.
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Old 03-08-2019, 10:09 PM #35
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Here's how it works. On named, legal roads, you're covered. In an off road park, you roll your truck and total it, good luck. It's just like an insured street car on the race track. You wreck it, you're not covered. Why should they cover it? You put it in a dangerous situation, you destroy it, you pay for it. It's really very simple.
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Old 03-09-2019, 12:15 AM #36
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For those people lambasting internet based insurance on favor of the local agent, and singling out Geico especially as "pulling teeth" for claims; have you ever actually had a claim with them? I'm no corporate shill, but if I've been well treated I am loyal and spread the good word. In both my claims Geico has been absolutely phenomenal... they sent an adjuster immediately, and paid out quickly and fairly. In fact, out of this recent fire, Geico was so responsive that they've already paid the motorcycle claim - and paid it at a rate higher than I thought was reasonable - and they had it paid before my house insurance even sent an adjuster out or assigned a claim number. Local might be better for buying hardware, or or clothes, but an insurance agent is literally a middleman for a massive corporation and exists only to provide the illusion of service at the added cost of a brick and mortar setup, passed on to you, natch. They don't have the ear of corporate, and they might "go to bat for you" but they're hitting with a wiffleball bat since corporate makes the decisions and holds the purse strings. No offense to insurance agents in the midst.

Related: the absolute worst service I ever received - ever, in any business - was from a local Nationwide agent.
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Old 03-09-2019, 10:36 AM #37
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So the answer to your first question is yes. I was young and in my twenties once and didn't know better and had GEICO because it was cheap, horrible claims experience. However much MUCH more importantly look a their customer satisfaction ratings. Year after year AMICA and USAA top the charts with customer satisfaction. In California ACE, Auto Club Enterprises, which is sold through AAA is I think in the number three spot. I wouldn't expect anyone to take my word for it, or yours an anecdotal story from a perfect stranger online is inherently not credible. Same as, "well I had vehicle X and it was a cream puff", or "I had vehicle X and there was nothing but trouble", both can be true because they're one offs. So to be clear GEICO has terrible customer satisfaction ratings and has year after year... Don't believe me, go find out for yourself.

Also Nationwide, is a captive agency structure, same as State Farm and a few others. Independent agents, can write for multiple carriers, they are of course a go between, but a good one with years of experience has seen how different companies behave in different situations. A personal (anecdotal) example I can give you. I had a carrier that I thought was terrific when I lived in the city in what is called a PC-3 with city water and sewer and a fire hydrant in the front yard and had a carrier I thought was great. I moved to the side of a mountain to what is called a PC-9 and now have a wood burning furnace and my AGENT explained to me that while company A had served me well they don't handle the type of risk situation my new home presents and outlined specific coverage differences on the new company they were recommending. In other words they educated me, as a trusted advisor and consultant. A captive agent is sort of like a hammer, if you're a hammer everything starts to look like a nail, especially if you don't have a screwdriver or saw or anything else available. There is a significant difference. All of that said not all independent agents are created equal.
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Old 03-09-2019, 11:16 AM #38
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So if you refer back to the declarations page that they mention, you'll find comprehensive is for things other than a collision. Comp protects you from; fire, theft, vandalism and "acts of nature" so if you hit a deer which you'd think would be a collision, it's not it's comp, or if a tree falls on your car that is what comprehensive covers. really if you're off roading what would come into play would be the collision portion if the policy, if you hit another vehicle off road, rolled your vehicle or hit a tree, that's collision not comprehensive or "other than collision". These things are all covered under normal circumstances. If you read my first post on this thread you'll see I mention "reasonable and prudent" so if you are driving down a state highway with a double yellow line and lose control of your vehicle and hit a tree it's covered. Because that is a place a reasonable and prudent person would be driving. However if you're not somewhere a reasonable and prudent person would be, or not on a road at all that coverage is not in effect. the reason the answer is vague is that coverage is situational. if you ask an insurance company "am I covered if I roll over" the answer will be yes, because if you roll in an accident on a public road it is covered. Similarly you are not covered for track driving, if you're looking for specific exclusion language you'd want to maybe look for "racing" or "timed driving events." this also would likely appear in the "liability" portion of your policy, if you don't believe me it is at your own peril. As I previously stated go to a private track and in the second turn wreck a $300,000.00 super car and let us all know how that works out for you. I have watched it happen in California, New York, Connecticut and New Hampshire, admittedly never in Utah.

Also, and I am editorializing here, I don't think it's reasonable to ask your insurance company to assume such a risk. if I am attempting a particularly tricky obstacle over or around a rock in my 4Runner and do body damage, why should I expect my insurance company to cover that? it is a risk I chose to take, that is beyond the scope of normal everyday driving. similarly if I am driving 160 mph and decide to brake late coming into a turn to try to beat a personal best lap time and meet the wall, why should I expect my insurance company to cover that? people need to take personal responsibility for their own choices and actions. A bill was recently proposed in the state of CT that would allow insurance companies to deny claims in the event of a DUI, in other words if you're driving drunk and hit someone and put them in the hospital, those bills are paid out of your account and not the insurance companies. I for one am all for this. If any of you are or know an actuary or underwriter you'll understand that rates are calculated based on probability those variables don't account for people driving impaired, because driving impaired is illegal. So if you're doing something that is in and of itself risky you should own the consequence. be that driving drunk driving off road or performance driving at a track.
Like said - insurance is for the lender, not the owner. Lenders don't like defaults. As a result comprehensive insurance in most states will cover everything short of intentional damage. There is no language whatsoever in my policy restricting use to any type of road, surface, or timed events. The actuarial cost of covering off road is probably very small. Much smaller than the risk of hitting a pedestrian. I don't think its either a surprise or uncommon for insurance to cover off road use. Probably less so in the east where there isn't very much access or opportunity to go off road, more so in the west where half or more of the states's roads are dirt and RS2477 highways are abundant. Even the Rubicon is a county road. Ranchers still want to buy trucks, and lenders won't lend if they aren't covered.

I'm going to try not to test it out - but I have little doubt that it would pay out if i rolled in Moab. If nothing else, because I know I can cost the insurance company more than my 4Runner is worth in litigation expenses - and they know it too.

As far as personal responsibility - every at fault accident is the driver's personal responsibility. Whether that's on a road or off. It doesn't matter. Ethics has no place in the insurance conversation unless you're defrauding the insurance company or putting other people at risk by not being properly insured. Otherwise the whole point of insurance is to pay the insurance company to take the risk of you doing something wrong. Car crashes don't happen by accident. They happen as the result of negligence in nearly 100% of cases. Insurance is there to cover exactly that. If you roll off road that's no more or less a personal responsibility choice than if you blow through a red light and kill a pedestrian in the cross walk.
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Old 03-09-2019, 11:49 AM #39
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Like said - insurance is for the lender, not the owner. Lenders don't like defaults. As a result comprehensive insurance in most states will cover everything short of intentional damage. There is no language whatsoever in my policy restricting use to any type of road, surface, or timed events. The actuarial cost of covering off road is probably very small. Much smaller than the risk of hitting a pedestrian. I don't think its either a surprise or uncommon for insurance to cover off road use. Probably less so in the east where there isn't very much access or opportunity to go off road, more so in the west where half or more of the states's roads are dirt and RS2477 highways are abundant. Even the Rubicon is a county road. Ranchers still want to buy trucks, and lenders won't lend if they aren't covered.

I'm going to try not to test it out - but I have little doubt that it would pay out if i rolled in Moab. If nothing else, because I know I can cost the insurance company more than my 4Runner is worth in litigation expenses - and they know it too.

As far as personal responsibility - every at fault accident is the driver's personal responsibility. Whether that's on a road or off. It doesn't matter. Ethics has no place in the insurance conversation unless you're defrauding the insurance company or putting other people at risk by not being properly insured. Otherwise the whole point of insurance is to pay the insurance company to take the risk of you doing something wrong. Car crashes don't happen by accident. They happen as the result of negligence in nearly 100% of cases. Insurance is there to cover exactly that. If you roll off road that's no more or less a personal responsibility choice than if you blow through a red light and kill a pedestrian in the cross walk.
Well, I can tell you with certainty that you're incorrect. I am terribly sorry if that displeases you. However if you don't carry an insurance license and are not a JD, then you have no reason to know what you're talking about. which is why people seek out my advice and the advice of others like me. insurance is required by lenders, but as with all large scale things there are little holes in coverage because the percentage of the folks doing that is so low it's not worth underwriting. That does not mean they go ahead and cover it anyway.

As I have said I am not guessing at this, your first post was "I don't actually know the answer but this is what I think." I carry a P&C License, which requires ongoing CE I also have an INS 21 and INS 22 designation... I speak to groups of high schoolers and their parents while standing beside local law enforcement specifically about different driving risks and hazards at the invitation of the local schools. If you choose to disregard my comments, it will have zero impact on my life, but is at your peril. So, do whatever you like.
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Old 03-09-2019, 12:06 PM #40
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So the answer to your first question is yes. I was young and in my twenties once and didn't know better and had GEICO because it was cheap, horrible claims experience. However much MUCH more importantly look a their customer satisfaction ratings. Year after year AMICA and USAA top the charts with customer satisfaction. In California ACE, Auto Club Enterprises, which is sold through AAA is I think in the number three spot. I wouldn't expect anyone to take my word for it, or yours an anecdotal story from a perfect stranger online is inherently not credible. Same as, "well I had vehicle X and it was a cream puff", or "I had vehicle X and there was nothing but trouble", both can be true because they're one offs. So to be clear GEICO has terrible customer satisfaction ratings and has year after year... Don't believe me, go find out for yourself.

Also Nationwide, is a captive agency structure, same as State Farm and a few others. Independent agents, can write for multiple carriers, they are of course a go between, but a good one with years of experience has seen how different companies behave in different situations. A personal (anecdotal) example I can give you. I had a carrier that I thought was terrific when I lived in the city in what is called a PC-3 with city water and sewer and a fire hydrant in the front yard and had a carrier I thought was great. I moved to the side of a mountain to what is called a PC-9 and now have a wood burning furnace and my AGENT explained to me that while company A had served me well they don't handle the type of risk situation my new home presents and outlined specific coverage differences on the new company they were recommending. In other words they educated me, as a trusted advisor and consultant. A captive agent is sort of like a hammer, if you're a hammer everything starts to look like a nail, especially if you don't have a screwdriver or saw or anything else available. There is a significant difference. All of that said not all independent agents are created equal.
That's fair, and you make solid points. Not enough to sway me, but I respect your thoughts
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Old 03-09-2019, 12:08 PM #41
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Well, I can tell you with certainty that you're incorrect. I am terribly sorry if that displeases you. However if you don't carry an insurance license and are not a JD, then you have no reason to know what you're talking about. which is why people seek out my advice and the advice of others like me. insurance is required by lenders, but as with all large scale things there are little holes in coverage because the percentage of the folks doing that is so low it's not worth underwriting. That does not mean they go ahead and cover it anyway.

As I have said I am not guessing at this, your first post was "I don't actually know the answer but this is what I think." I carry a P&C License, which requires ongoing CE I also have an INS 21 and INS 22 designation... I speak to groups of high schoolers and their parents while standing beside local law enforcement specifically about different driving risks and hazards at the invitation of the local schools. If you choose to disregard my comments, it will have zero impact on my life, but is at your peril. So, do whatever you like.
As fate would have it, I am a lawyer. And I used to sue car insurance companies for a living as my first job out of law school. Im pretty confident in my conclusions on the terms of my insurance contract. I don't know the answer for the OP. I do know for me. I don't think it's a close call or a gray area.
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Old 03-09-2019, 12:13 PM #42
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As fate would have it, I am a lawyer. And I used to sue car insurance companies for a living as my first job out of law school. Im pretty confident in my conclusions on the terms of my insurance contract. I don't know the answer for the OP. I do know for me. I don't think it's a close call or a gray area.
Well, if you're an attorney I'll say two things. One I have met attorney's who know more than I about Property and Casualty insurance, depending of course on their area of practice. Two you know exactly what the credentials are that I am referring to in my last post, and that I know what I am talking about. If you had the inclination I am sure you could find a case that went to trial where an insurance company denied such a claim, and won, because they do.
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Old 03-09-2019, 12:51 PM #43
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Well, if you're an attorney I'll say two things. One I have met attorney's who know more than I about Property and Casualty insurance, depending of course on their area of practice. Two you know exactly what the credentials are that I am referring to in my last post, and that I know what I am talking about. If you had the inclination I am sure you could find a case that went to trial where an insurance company denied such a claim, and won, because they do.
Im not aware of any where coverage was denied for off road use. But I wouldn't have a reason to search in your state. Which is why my first answer was that it's state specific and sometimes policy specific. I'm aware of dozens of off road incidents here the insurance company paid. And that's what would be expected. The protection is for the lender first. Lenders wrote the laws. Lobbied for the right rules. And have the most skin in the game. Insurance companies don't care. They care that they think they know the actuarial risk (although most don't because they use gaussian probability models for non gaussian distributions, but that's a different issue). As long as the insurance co has a set of risks they can make a policy to cover them. They don't care what's in it. Lenders care. So lenders make the rules.

Possibly in your state the insurance lobby is stronger than the auto dealers and lenders? In that case the laws may allow exclusions like this.

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Old 03-15-2019, 08:09 PM #44
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UPDATE from Geico

UPDATE AFTER TALKING WITH GEICO

After the utterly unhelpful response of Geico customer service, I escalated my inquiry by reaching out to several Geico executives. It took a little back and forth, but today I had a call from a Geico claims supervisor and we had a good conversation about the "rules" of offroad use and my Geico policy. She is supposed to follow the conversation by sending their written policies, but I haven't received those yet.

I was clear that I was just trying to understand the rules so that I could make informed decisions about how to use the vehicle and/or understand when I might not be covered, and that there was no claim to be made on the vehicle.

First off, Geico has no concept of "offroading" -- it is not a term they use.

They generally exclude four types of activity: racing, speed, demolitions, and stunting (stunt activity). It is this last one that applies to what I would call "offroading."

Gravel roads in national parks, BLM land, USFS land, etc -- covered

Mixed gravel/dirt/rock roads, pretty rough, maintained by some agency -- that an ordinary car would not be able to drive, but a vehicle like my 4Runner would -- likely to be covered

Desert wash which is commonly used as a road/trail -- likely to be covered

Desert wash which is commonly used as a road/trail, but with big rocks and I'm driving 50-60 MPH -- not likely to be covered

Flip my 4Runner while rock crawling -- not likely to be covered

Because she is also in San Diego, we specifically talked about some types of trails in Anza-Borrego and areas like the mountains near Ramona. It really came down to being covered unless doing something where there's an obvious hazard to the vehicle, e.g., rock crawling. Desert washes, crappy rocky roads in the mountains are good / likely to be covered so long as you're not doing something stupid.
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Old 03-15-2019, 08:32 PM #45
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So basically the same thing that was said before. Kinda vague and they will pretty much have an out for almost any thing.
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